Ongwediva-The Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Arts and Culture, Anna Nghipondoka said Namibia can only enhance its basic and high-level education and develop a well-educated skilled and innovative labour force if its education responds to the industrial needs.
Nghipondoka said the various trades offered by the Namibia College of Open Learning (NAMCOL) translates into higher entries of employment opportunities and the establishment of Small and Medium Enterprises that allows for further employment creation.
“The opportunities provided to them offers the upgrading of their professional and vocational skills, as well their level of general education, to become competitive in the economy…,” said Nghipondoka.
The minister was speaking at a graduation ceremony of 447 students recently in Windhoek.
The minister extolled NAMCOL for continuously providing opportunities to the vast majorities who could not secure entry to institutions of higher learning because of the steep entry requirements.
“NAMCOL plays a critical role in providing pathways and opportunities to those group to further academic studies, starting with secondary education,” said Nghipondoka.
Whilst singing praises, the minister said the ministry of education and government cannot over emphasise the importance of the institution which has since its inception provided a safe haven and acted as a safety-net for many Namibians.
She also applauded NAMCOL for continuously addressing the challenge of ensuring that all children remain in school through the Early Childhood Development (ECD) course.
According to UNESCO the enrolment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 percent but 57 million children remain out of school in Africa including Namibia.
So far over 1000 teachers have graduated in certificates and diploma levels through NAMCOL.
Also speaking at the event, the Director of NAMCOL Heroldt Murangi said the institution successfully launched an online Certificate in Early Childhood Development which was in turn extended to 2018 due to the popularity of the course.
“We aim to serve, develop, grow and contribute to this noble cause and in so doing, we conquer our fears, bury obstacles and champion the impossible, with our available resources and committed staff,” said Murangi.